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Did Manish Tewari rightly call out Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh for not acting against Pakistan post 26/11?

Not only did the Congress government not let the Indian Air Force act against Pakistan, but rather shamelessly undermined India's interests as well. A leaked WikiLeaks document reveals how the Congress party played politics over the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. It did not escape the notice of even the then U.S. ambassador to India, David Mulford.

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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

11 years ago, on 26th November 2008, Pakistani terrorists crossed the border and unleashed nights of carnage and terror on the financial capital of India – Mumbai. In a series of terror attacks on 26/11, 10 terrorists from Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Taiba carried out 12 coordinated shootings and bombings that held the city captive for 4 days.

The attacks occurred at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai Chabad House, The Oberoi Trident, The Taj Palace & Tower, Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital, The Nariman House, the Metro Cinema, and in a lane behind the Times of India building and St. Xavier’s College. There was also an explosion at Mazagaon, in Mumbai’s port area, and in a taxi at Vile Parle.

Between 26th November and 29th November 2008, at least 174 people were killed (the numbers are suspected to be far more) and 300 people were injured.

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Read: Media has no right to pontificate about 26/11 after SC’s observations on their irresponsible coverage

While the terror attacks drew widespread condemnation from all across the globe, Congress, who was in power back then, had a lacklustre response to the heinous nights of terror that Pakistan had unleashed on India.

Today, on the attacks 11th anniversary, Congress leader Manish Tewari tweeted wondering what would have become of Pakistan had the 26/11 attacks taken place in the USA.

What Manish Tewari was essentially saying that is that had an attack like 26/11 taken place in the USA, USA would have reacted much differently than India did. One can judge the USA’s response to terror on its soil by its reaction after the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers. Following the 9/11 attacks, the USA launched a hot war against terror. In the aftermath, 762 suspects were arrested and laws like the Patriot Act and Homeland Security Act were passed. Eventually, Osama Bin Laden was hunted and neutralised dealing a massive blow to terror organisation Al-Qaeda.

In his tweet, while Manish Tewari rightly wonders how would the USA react, the corollary of that argument is how India did react. It would seem that Manish Tewari is rightly holding Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh responsible for not acting adequately against Pakistan post 26/11.

Read: Tales of betrayal and Congress’ insensitivity as the 26/11 terror attack left 166 dead

After the gruesome 26/11 terror attacks, it is worthy to note that the Indian Air Force was ready to take action against Pakistan, however, the Congress government decided against it. After the Balakot airstrikes, retired IAF personnel said, “After the Mumbai 26/11 attacks, we had planned a similar airstrike on Muzaffarabad. I was leading the Sukhoi squadron. Our plan was kept under wraps and I had to lie to my boys that we were going somewhere else”. “We were deployed and waited for nearly a month. But government approval never came… Today, I am glad the strike happened”. This revelation was made by then Wing Commander Mohonto Panging who was all set to lead a squadron of Mirage 2000s and Su-30s in a precision airstrike on Muzaffarabad in PoK but did not get Congress government’s nod.

Read: ‘The party chose to pander to Muslim fears’: Wikileaks cable on Congress’ dangerous politics over 26/11 terror attack

Not only did the Congress government not let the Indian Air Force act against Pakistan, but rather shamelessly undermined India’s interests as well.

A leaked WikiLeaks document reveals how the Congress party played politics over the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. It did not escape the notice of even the then U.S. ambassador to India, David Mulford.

Antulay, the UPA minority affairs minister had said,  “Superficially speaking, they (terrorists) had no reason to kill Karkare. Whether he (Karkare) was a victim of terrorism or terrorism plus something I do not know.” “Karkare found that there are non-Muslims involved in acts of terrorism in some cases. Any person going to the roots of terrorism has always been the target,” Antulay had said, adding: “There is more than what meets the eye.”

“The Congress party, after first distancing itself from the comments (of Antulay, the then Minority Affairs Minister), two days later issued a contradictory statement which implicitly endorsed the conspiracy. During this time, Mr Antulay’s completely unsubstantiated claims gained support in the conspiracy-minded Indian—Muslim community,” Mulford wrote in his secret cable to the State Department on December 23, 2008. “Hoping to foster that support for upcoming national elections, the Congress Party cynically pulled back from its original dismissal and lent credence to the conspiracy,” he added.

Mulford also said that Congress party chose to pander to Muslims post 26/11.

This is not all, Congress leader Digvijay Singh had tried to exonerate Pakistan and somehow, put the blame on the Hindus of India. He had released a book called 26/11 – RSS Ki Saazish.

Read: Indians and our short memory: Why we remember Hemant Karkare, not Tukaram Omble and how it puts our lives at risk

One has to wonder what would have happened had Kasab not been captured alive. It is interesting to note here that Ajmal Kasab, who was captured alive by martyred Tukaram Omble was wearing a Kalawa (sacred red thread worn around the wrist by Hindus). Essentially, Pakistan had ensured that when Kasab is killed, seeing the Kalawa, the theory that Hindus carried out the terror attack would be furthered in India. Though Kasab was captured alive, Congress still peddled that theory regardless of overwhelming evidence against Pakistan.

Contrasting this to how the Modi government reacted after the Pulwama attack and the Uri attack, one can certainly conclude that Congress pussyfooted after the ghastly 26/11 terror attacks and tried their best to exonerate Pakistan.

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